Retrenchments at Nashua Mobile are inevitable following the decision to sell its customer base and to close the business, but parent Reunert says “all options are being considered” to find places for them within the rest of the JSE-listed group and in the broader industry.
That’s the word from Reunert spokesman Carina de Klerk, who says the group is unable to be more specific about the looming retrenchments at the independent cellular service provider, South Africa’s second biggest after Altech Autopage Cellular, until the conditions precedent in the sales agreements have been concluded.
The group announced early on Monday that Nashua Mobile has agreed to sell its MTN and Vodacom subscriber bases to the two mobile operators and that it is also in talks to sell its Cell C subscribers. The deals with MTN and Vodacom are worth a combined R2,3bn.
It appears that Nashua Mobile was left in a tough position as MTN and Vodacom moved to squeeze margin from the distribution channel as price competition intensified and as cuts to mobile termination rates — the fees they charge each other to carry calls to each other’s networks — took hold.
At the end of September 2013, Nashua had 752 full-time employees, excluding those in its franchise and channel partner network. But De Klerk says this number has since fallen to about 600 people.
De Klerk says Reunert is considering all its options regarding Nashua Mobile’s chain of retail outlets, which can be found in shopping centres across South Africa.
“The networks and other service providers are interested in being given an opportunity to bid for the outlets,” she says. “We will not be able to progress any of these options until the conditions precedent to the sales agreements have been finalised.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media